City County Relations

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Because of Virginia's unique laws, cities and counties are separate political jurisdictions. For many years, cities had a relatively easy path towards annexing of county land. Charlottesville slowly accumulated its current boundaries of 10.4 square miles through the annexation process by taking sections of Albemarle County until the two localities entered into a revenue sharing agreement. Shortly after, the practice was stopped by the General Assembly.

The localities have separate agencies for nearly every government service, though there are several examples of how the two work together.

A group called the Citizens Committee for City-County Cooperation has spent many years seeking to foster collaboration between the two jurisdictions.

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Shared services

Public transportation

The city runs Charlottesville Area Transit but the county contributes to funding. CAT operates 13 routes, 10 of which cross city boundaries into Albemarle County. [1] In July 2019, the two localities signed an agreement that lays out how Albemarle's funding for CAT service is calculated. This milestone is seen as a major outcome of the Regional Transit Partnership. [2]

Other agreements

Fire Services Agreement

The City of Charlottesville is paid by Albemarle County to use its Fire Department to cover parts of the County, most notably the Pantops area.

2003 - $121,404[3]

On December 7, 2011, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted to terminate the agreement as of June 13, 2013 in anticipation of new stations in the community.[4]

<play audio>File:20111207-BOS-Fire-Services-Discussion.mp3 </play audio>



In October 1975, the city of Charlottesville sought to alter parking in downtown. This affected certain Albemarle County employees. The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution asking them to reconsider. [5]


In 2014, members of the Board of Supervisors sought to have a joint meeting with the City Council. They discussed the item at their meeting on April 2, 2014.


<play audio>File:20140402-BOS-City-meeting-thoughts.MP3 </play audio>

2016 Memorandums of Understanding

The City Council and Board of Supervisors met in joint session on March 1, 2016 at the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center. One result that came out of the meeting was a set of four memorandums of understanding that indicated areas in which city and county staff might work together. These include transportation, affordable housing, education, and redevelopment and affordable housing. They were signed in May 2016.

Memoranda of understanding

A fifth memorandum of understanding on economic development was signed in September 2017. Click here


Council and Supervisors met on January 30, 2019 for their first joint meeting of the year. One topic discussed was the possibility of coordinating capital improvement programs in both localities. [6] [7]

The two bodies met for a second time on June 6, 2019. One of the topics was progress made toward the various MOU's since then. Matrix of progress

The two bodies will meet for a third time in September.


  1. Web. Albemarle supervisors briefed on transit options, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 8, 2017, retrieved December 26, 2017.
  2. Web. Shared transit agreement approved by city and county, Staff Reports, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, July 3, 2009, retrieved July 14, 2019.
  3. Charlottesville City Council Minutes. 5 May 2003. City of Charlottesville, Virginia. 31 Mar. 2009 <>.
  4. Web. [ Fire Services Agreement Between the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County], County of Albemarle, December 7, 2011, retrieved December 12, 2011.
  5. Web. County of Albemarle, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Minutes, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, Albemarle County, October 16, 1975, retrieved July 14, 2019.
  6. Web. Charlottesville, Albemarle Leaders Discuss Coordinating Joint Projects, Pete DeLuca, News Article, January 30, 2019, retrieved February 8, 2019.
  7. Web. City, county discuss collaboration efforts, Allison Wrabel, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, January 30, 2019, retrieved February 7, 2019.